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Eiffel Peak (3084m)

I climbed Eiffel Peak with my Uncle Bill and my cousin Joe on the same trip as Chester and Fortress. We had a rest day and then decided to do Eiffel. We figured that the views would be great from here and that the Valley of the Ten Peaks would leave a good impression on Joe. The weather was perfect until the afternoon when some clouds started coming in from the Great Divide. Eiffel has 1230m of elevation gain over about I'm guessing 10+ km. We weren't in a very big hurry. We were on the trailhead at about 9:00 or 10:00 and down by about 4:00 or 5:00 because we kept fooling around. This is Eiffel Peak from the shoulder above Larch Valley. The ascent route just follows the ridge right up and breaks through some cliff bands. I took all the pictures on this one just like Fortress, except for the ones with me in them. In that case, use your deduction skills to find out who dunnit, either Uncle Bill, Joe, or in one case, the camera mysteriously took it itself..... Click on a picture to enlarge it.

After an early morning at the B&B in Canmore, and a great breakfast once again from Joe the Master Chef and assistance from Uncle Bill's hot sauce, we set off for Moraine Lake. On the way Joe was captivated by Temple's icy north face. Who couldn't be. We got to the parking lot and found that the 6-person rule is still in effect. So we ended up joining a group of 2 Americans from Ohio, another group of 5 people and 2 climbers going to the Grand Sentinel! Soon enough like it happens every single time I go to the mountains, our group of 12 became a group of 10, then a group of 5, and then finally our group of 3 headed on ahead for Larch Valley. We found the small trail which crossed the stream and headed up to the sweeping shoulder. The picture is on the start of the shoulder with magnificent Deltaform commanding the skyline.

Heading up the scree and shale became increasingly boring, and I was happy when we finally made it to the cliffbands. On the way up we spotted a continuous snow patch that ran the entire way from the summit of Eiffel Peak to the Wenkchemna Pass trail. The gullies through the cliffbands were obvious and were easily overcome. This picture was taken just after we cleared the final cliff. As you can see, it was quite steep, but a good knack for routefinding will easily carry you through. Some of the Ten Peaks rise in the distance.

After surmounting the cliffs, the summit was only 5 minutes away. At the top, we were granted with superb views of some of the biggest peaks in the Rockies. Most impressive could have been that of Mount Temple, seen in this picture. If you enlarge it and look very closely you might be able to see the trail and some people going up it. The difference I find between the view from Eiffel and from Temple is that here you are right in the midst of the giant peaks, whereas on Temple they are merely below you. On a day with high visiblity I would recommend Temple because you can see above everything, but on any other days Eiffel will do the trick perfectly.

Moraine Lake was a brilliant colour.That is Uncle Bill and Joe in the picture, just to the right of where we had our summit break. You can see snow clad Mount Fay in the distance along with some more of the Ten Peaks. At our rest spot there was a cornice, so Joe became obsessed with having to knock down a cornice before he leaves. He tried throwing rocks on it, but I knew that probably the only way to break one would be to stand on it, but I don't recommend that too too much.

Here are all 3 of us. I put the camera on auto-time, while sitting it on top of the 4 foot high cairn. The winds were pretty fierce and I was about to crap my pants waiting for the camera to take the picture while it dwindled in the wind 4 feet up on a bunch of loose shale. Luckily, it all worked out. You can see South Goodsir above me, the Central Tower above Uncle Bill and the North Goodsir above Joseph. After this they started to head down while I packed up. I reached them a couple of minutes from the summit only to hear an avalanche as I rounded the corner. Frightened, I raced around the corner to see if they were OK, and I found out that Joe had successfully broken the cornice. After many congratulations, we headed down to the snowpatch for the funnest glissade I have ever had: over 2000 vertical feet of perfect snow! Even though this was on our side, we weren't much faster on the ascent than the descent.

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